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Canberra builders recommendations?

Shirokuma 4 April 2013 43

Hi all

Was just wondering if anyone had any experience dealing with any of the following builders:

Ruiz Constructions

Rawson Homes

Sekisui House

They all seem pretty competent with good inclusions – hard to choose between them. Are there any other builders that come recommended?

[Ed – let’s stick to positive contributions people]


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Canberra builders recommendations?
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MiaTrenati 1:00 pm 07 Jul 15

I would recommend Brighter Building Solutions (http://www.brighterbuildingsolutions.com.au). I recently built a house with them and their service was personalised and professional. They worked with me to build the home I wanted and the benefit of the fixtures and fitting showroom allowed me to easily choose what I wanted rather then spending time travelling around to find or review options.

Aulyna 10:18 am 13 Mar 15

razzie said :

Hi
We built with Cavalier Homes and I recommend you STAY AWAY from them. Refused to hand over the keys to the house after the final payment had been made, amongst an endless list of stuff ups. We needed the executive director of Master Builders Association to intervene, time and time again. MBA are still involved as it’s only been 9 weeks since we moved in.
.

SAME happened to me!

As soon as he got the contract, got the site work started, asked for 4.5k price increasing… that was only the beginning!

Went to Master Builders Association three time with him, and the issues are still not resolved!

STAY AWAY from Cavalier Homes!

farout 10:19 pm 01 Jan 15

I’m coming close to finishing a large renovation with Build Professional. 12 months of dealing with them, and just about reaching practical completion now. Happy to share my experiences with anyone who is seeking information on Build Professional. Email me at canberra.build@hotmail.com.

Feedbacker 7:36 am 02 Oct 14

DO NOT build with Z&R Properties. Seriously slow and ridiculously unprofessional.

Heard Pavillion are also really slow.

Kolak seem ok.

Wish I’d built with J&F Homes – no idea who they are but their houses (which look great) seem to get finished way faster than anyone else.

water_lily 3:37 pm 15 Apr 14

MightyJoe, When I was researching I knew what I wanted: a small builder, who worked with the same team on all his jobs; and a builder who would be on site every day with his workers to ensure adequate supervision, care and quality. He assured me that he was always on site whenever work was being done. I was on site most days and he was NEVER on site–even his contractors would get upset because there was no one to answer their questions. I did not fault his contractors–they all did the best they could. I asked for–and got–references. To answer your question: no, I had not seen an MBA contract before. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I would do it very differently now. In my innocence, I really did not believe that people such as my builder existed–crooked, deceitful, shameless. He thinks he is above the law. Even now, having give the courts an assurance that he will not come within 100 metres of my house, he blatantly parks outside my house and stares inside, or he does laps around my block. I am honest and I assume others are honest in their dealings with me. Little did I know. This is probably not the right forum to discuss my issues. If you want to know more you can contact me–not sure how it works on this site.

MightyJoe 12:21 pm 15 Apr 14

No, no – not saying I’m smart! My builder hasn’t finished my house yet despite me being there for 6mths+

I understand you, but surely when you did your research you would have seen HIA and MBA contracts even blank ones?

http://www.masterbuilders.asn.au/contracts-and-disputes/which-contract/residential-contracts

That was a result of a 10sec google search.

I get you and your reasoning, you think the builder is trustworthy and honest, but he’s not your best friend or your brother – its money. You say you did 12mths research, you don’t appear to have done the right research then if you signed a contract on 4 pages. Did anyone even witness it????

water_lily said :

MightyJoe, perhaps we are not all smart as you are. Buying a house and land package is different to already owning a block of land, having some plans drawn up by an architect and then searching for a builder to construct a house on it. I did nearly 12 months research on finding a builder. I found someone who I thought had integrity and was trustworthy. He was a member of the MBA. When someone brings you round the contract to sign, you assume it is the whole contract. It never occurred to me that the builder would bring around for signing only one-tenth of the contract. It was an MBA contract, which one would assume met Australian standards. I now know that I wouldn’t sign an MBA contract again (even if presented with the whole thing), as it firmly favours the builder. The MBA has called for the government to hold an inquiry into the building industry. However, if the MBA were serious about repairing the reputation of the building industry here in Canberra it would re-draft its contract to make it fair to both sides, and discipline its member builders who flagrantly flout their disregard for what are supposed to be legally binding agreements.

water_lily 12:03 pm 15 Apr 14

MightyJoe, perhaps we are not all smart as you are. Buying a house and land package is different to already owning a block of land, having some plans drawn up by an architect and then searching for a builder to construct a house on it. I did nearly 12 months research on finding a builder. I found someone who I thought had integrity and was trustworthy. He was a member of the MBA. When someone brings you round the contract to sign, you assume it is the whole contract. It never occurred to me that the builder would bring around for signing only one-tenth of the contract. It was an MBA contract, which one would assume met Australian standards. I now know that I wouldn’t sign an MBA contract again (even if presented with the whole thing), as it firmly favours the builder. The MBA has called for the government to hold an inquiry into the building industry. However, if the MBA were serious about repairing the reputation of the building industry here in Canberra it would re-draft its contract to make it fair to both sides, and discipline its member builders who flagrantly flout their disregard for what are supposed to be legally binding agreements.

MightyJoe 12:05 am 15 Apr 14

Just the same, Whilst looking at buying a house and land package I found 4 houses, my conveyancer / lawyer read each one and steered me away from 1 as it didn’t meet ACT requirements.
Really sorry, but there’s always someone to ask.

water_lily said :

MightyJoe, I wish I were having a lend of you. I know: I was really naive and gullible. The MBA contract is a BUILDING contract; it is not a contract to buy a house. There was no conveyance involved because conveyancing is not required for a build. There was no bank involved, because I was not borrowing any money. I had to apply for a loan when I saw that the builder had changed the contract, and the bank could see that the contract was dodgy and had been amended. I wish a bank had been involved from the beginning–it would have saved me a lot of angst.

water_lily 7:44 pm 14 Apr 14

MightyJoe, I wish I were having a lend of you. I know: I was really naive and gullible. The MBA contract is a BUILDING contract; it is not a contract to buy a house. There was no conveyance involved because conveyancing is not required for a build. There was no bank involved, because I was not borrowing any money. I had to apply for a loan when I saw that the builder had changed the contract, and the bank could see that the contract was dodgy and had been amended. I wish a bank had been involved from the beginning–it would have saved me a lot of angst.

MightyJoe 2:36 pm 14 Apr 14

How did you buy a home with 4 pages only? The banks require the contract, conveyancers make you initial each page of the contract before you sign it and then hand over the deposit cheque.

Really, i think you’re having a lend of us, no-one in their right mind would go off 4 pages.

If you tried doing the conveyancing yourself, then I’m afraud your experience should be a warning to others thinking of going it alone.

water_lily 9:45 pm 13 Apr 14

Ensure that the builder bring you TWO copies of the FULL building contract–one copy for you to take IMMEDIATELY and the other for the builder to take. My builder brought to me four pages of a 40-age MBA contract. I had no idea that there were more than four pages to the contract. He brought me ONE copy of the four pages, and then took those with him. He returned them to me six months later having added $42,000+ to the contract without my knowledge. He is now taking me to court for that sum (which I have refused to pay). He maintains to his lawyer that he never touched the contract after I signed it and is willing to perjure himself in court. Buyer beware.

ACTing_out 7:32 pm 26 Mar 14

ACTing_out said :

I would love to hear more about good builders in Canberra and post something positive too…

Canberra is building a lot of new homes now and will be for many years to come. Is there anywhere apart from RA and blog style sites that give ratings for known builders and tradesmen? Something like WOMO perhaps? >> (Just checked and not much action on WOMO)

Looks like my feedback on one building company was removed from my post… PM me if you care to know…

bec452 10:22 pm 25 Mar 14

My partner and I are first home buyers and decided to purchase an ‘easy’ house and land package in Gungahlin. They constantly tried to push extras on us all throughout the build including a $5000 timber retaining wall but excluded us completely from all decisions regarding our house. At one point, before lock-up stage, we were inspecting our property on the weekend and a tradie pulls up and tells us to leave our own property! Definitely no personalised service from this company!

We have now received our Certificate of Occupancy and paid our final installment but this particular building company has decided to pull a figure out of thin air for ‘additional work’ and refuse to give us our keys until we pay this extra cost.

My family have dealt with various Canberra builders over the past 14 years and have always been treated well. I realise now that they have been extremely lucky. This company went as far as to sneakily omit inclusions from the contract and we have found them to be misleading and deceptive throughout. Once you sign the contract, you are at their mercy. They can charge what they want and until you pay up, you won’t get your keys.

If anyone wants to know more about this please PM me.

chilli 7:21 pm 25 Mar 14

After a really lousy experience with our builder for a fairly major renovation, my main advice is:
(i) think through the technical details of what you want really carefully – worth talking through with your architect or a draftsman if you’re a novice with building;
(ii) on that basis, get tight specifications (including engineering) that you want builders to quote on so you can compare apples with apples;
(iii) if someone comes back much cheaper than everyone else, get them to walk through what they were intending to do to ensure their idea of the specifications are the same as yours eg : two coats of paint vs manufacturer’s recommended number of coats of paint, screws or nails for the deck, etc. Also worth checking who their crew are – are they using only certified tradies or some strong bloke who answered an ad in the Canberra Times the previous weekend;
(iv) get your own certifier. Actually, this is the most important. Make sure they understand that you want a build that, at a minimum, meets the building code. Check if they have previously worked with the builder you’re thinking about and get their feedback on him (try and suss out if they have any COI if their praise is too fulsome).

IMO, the best thing that the ACT government could do to improve building standards in Canberra would be to de-privatise certifiers and make it a government responsibility again to ensure basic standards are met. No more nudge-nudge wink-wink between these co-dependent pseudo-professionals! When we ran into significant quality problems with our renovation, our builder-recommended certifier would not even return our calls. And we could not even withhold payment to the certifiers in protest at their sub-standard efforts because the builder was paying them directly, and their cost was part of our payment to the builder. We thought the builder was being helpful when he suggested them, and of course now our shins are black and blue from all the kicking we’ve given ourselves.

milkman 7:03 pm 25 Mar 14

milkman said :

billiecart said :

Let me tell you a story about RUIZ constructions. On dropping my elderly mother at the Canberra airport this afternoon l had pulled up as close to the front gate as possible. On getting mum all sorted out and farewelled l got back in my car and proceeded to indicate to pull out. As l did this a 4wd ute pulled in across the nose of my car, blocking me in.
When l indicated to the driver, who had alighted from the vehicle, that l needed him to move his truck forward, he proceeded to wave me off and continued on his way. l wound down the window and said that behaving with no consideration was one thing, but doing so with your companies name, RUIZ construction, written all over the offending vehicle, is not very clever. My words were met with a blank stare, served up with his arrogant stride past the front of my car. l would consider that if thats how a member of that company treats a member of the public then lm pretty sure l wouldn’t entrust them with building my home.
ln the end l had to reverse my car, precariously, to get out of the parking spot. No thanks to a member of RUIZ construction.

You had to reverse your car out of a carpark?!?!?

Typical tradie.

ACTing_out 5:14 pm 25 Mar 14

I would love to hear more about good builders in Canberra and post something positive too…

Canberra is building a lot of new homes now and will be for many years to come. Is there anywhere apart from RA and blog style sites that give ratings for known builders and tradesmen? Something like WOMO perhaps? >> (Just checked and not much action on WOMO)

farout 3:29 pm 29 Oct 13

Sorry to bring up an old thread, but keeping all builder reviews in one thread might be useful for RA users in the future. So here goes: We’re planing a sizeable extension to an existing property – maybe 4 to 6 months build time (which rules out the small deck-and-pergola type guys), and would greatly appreciate any feedback – positive or negative – on the following builders:

O’Sullivan Constructions

Build Professional

Emmadale Group

Owen Building Group

If you’re not comfortable posting negative comments here, email your feedback to me at canberra.build@hotmail.com.

Chop71 9:00 am 11 Jul 13

billiecart said :

Let me tell you a story about RUIZ constructions. On dropping my elderly mother at the Canberra airport this afternoon l had pulled up as close to the front gate as possible. On getting mum all sorted out and farewelled l got back in my car and proceeded to indicate to pull out. As l did this a 4wd ute pulled in across the nose of my car, blocking me in.
When l indicated to the driver, who had alighted from the vehicle, that l needed him to move his truck forward, he proceeded to wave me off and continued on his way. l wound down the window and said that behaving with no consideration was one thing, but doing so with your companies name, RUIZ construction, written all over the offending vehicle, is not very clever. My words were met with a blank stare, served up with his arrogant stride past the front of my car. l would consider that if thats how a member of that company treats a member of the public then lm pretty sure l wouldn’t entrust them with building my home.
ln the end l had to reverse my car, precariously, to get out of the parking spot. No thanks to a member of RUIZ construction.

Where is “billycart” parking at the airport?

thebrownstreak69 8:27 am 11 Jul 13

Most builders in ACT suck balls. Having private certification and lax government planning equals lots of cut corners.

milkman 6:55 am 11 Jul 13

billiecart said :

Let me tell you a story about RUIZ constructions. On dropping my elderly mother at the Canberra airport this afternoon l had pulled up as close to the front gate as possible. On getting mum all sorted out and farewelled l got back in my car and proceeded to indicate to pull out. As l did this a 4wd ute pulled in across the nose of my car, blocking me in.
When l indicated to the driver, who had alighted from the vehicle, that l needed him to move his truck forward, he proceeded to wave me off and continued on his way. l wound down the window and said that behaving with no consideration was one thing, but doing so with your companies name, RUIZ construction, written all over the offending vehicle, is not very clever. My words were met with a blank stare, served up with his arrogant stride past the front of my car. l would consider that if thats how a member of that company treats a member of the public then lm pretty sure l wouldn’t entrust them with building my home.
ln the end l had to reverse my car, precariously, to get out of the parking spot. No thanks to a member of RUIZ construction.

You had to reverse your car out of a carpark?!?!?

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